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Laia Navarro

She is a PhD student.

  • Did you have any role models/referents growing up? Were they women? Were they from the scientific ambit?

My grandmother was a referent and still is, so are my parents, specially my mother. My high school math and chemistry teachers were also great referents and gave me a lot of courage to pursue science. I had many other referents but from a more distant point of view, as they were singers, dancers, etc. and not all of them were women.

  • Did you always think that you would get where you are now in your scientific career?

Yes, because my parents have been able to pay for my studies without me having to work.

  • Did you think, somewhere along the way in your career, that pursuing a career in science was not possible for you, given the gender gap?

Yes, especially in the future if I ever want to be a mother. Not to mention that, in general, people see us in a different way than they see man, with less respect and less appreciation

  • To what extent do you think the male predominance in science conditions scientific research and disclosure? Has the situation gotten worse, better or has it stayed the same since you started your career?

Male dominance affects a lot since science is inevitably biased by the male eye. This means that even women are not aware of our own history in science (and in many other branches), since not much effort is made to make us visible. More referents are needed, so that girls can see that it is possible to have a successful scientific career as a woman and that the future is plural.

  • Did you have any problems or challenges in your career because of your gender?

Yes, I have been disrespected many times by classmates, teachers and colleagues. Even if it is unconsciously, sexism and misogyny are deeply rooted in personalities and social dynamics. The saddest thing is to see how difficult it is to do or say anything to change it, even if we try. It is not all women’s work, it is men who must deconstruct themselves, and if they do not want to do so, it is difficult to move forward

  • Send a motivational message to those little girls and young women who want to pursue a career in science but have doubts because of the gender gap or what their environment tells them.

Don’t give up. Regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, all people have the right to occupy traditionally masculinized spaces. If we do not feminize science, this world will never change. We deserve to have a dignified life.